i'm the reluctant wife of this house lately. the weather has kept me here and still. i'd have an affair with another location if i could. in lieu, this mom is currently cavorting with a tall glass of cranberry juice and a downpour. the rain is unstoppable this summer. it's always unstoppable, literally, but lately its persistence is human-like. she was harmless at first. then pushy. then overbearing. and now, all we see is the rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain. the soggy, groggy, infinite rain.
as i was typing my third or fourth "rain" up there ^, my words and poe's collided in my mind: the rain, rain rain ... the bells, bells, bells. well, hey there, mr. poe. has it been since some numberless english lit class in some nameless hall at wvu that we last met? hmm. not exactly. but it's been at least that long since we've spent hours together.
i reread "the bells" last night. as poe progressed from curiosity to horror in the bells, i saw a similar progression in this summer's rain. or reign. reign of liquid terror.
for weeks i've resisted the urge to discuss the misery of this weather. it wouldn't be positive of me, i thought. yet here i am. i didn't intend it. it just happened. at least i'm enjoying it this way, juxtaposing this colorless, pelting, endless rain against the sanguine echo of poe's crescendo.
the sky has frowned upon clarksburg for the past month. on most days the sun will sneak out from behind the clouds for a bit. the light fills both the sky and me. i inhale it. i open my arms and invite it into my belly and my heart. so when it leaves again, i'll have a little left over. i wish i could say it keeps me full until the next rays break through; it doesn't. as the sunshine fades out of me, and the sky above and the air around become suffused with grayness and the static hum of stagnancy, i am momentarily limp. i carry myself with heavy limbs across this long house, one end to the other, as i go about the hours. waiting. waiting for my sun.
the best me, she's up in the clouds, like the sun. waiting to come out again. i don't hate this town. i hate its lack. i hate it for what it can't be. i hate that this town, for me, is only a reflection of what it is not. it doesn't resemble life. there are no brunches at jessi's. no skipping rocks at mud island with ellen. no holiday parties with the newest addition to my short list of genuine friends, kristen. no patio dinner dates set ablaze by amanda's incendiary pitch. no laid back hangouts with ruth (it's strange to reminisce of a friendship now gone. i'm not sure what to make of it. except for a time she was dear). no happy, sloppy pit bulls hopping in shallow lakes at shelby farms dog park. no hippie drum circles at neighborhood festivals. no singer-songwriters belting out their hearts' desires in bars and coffee shops and on sidewalks. i miss sidewalks! who knew. here, there are no sidewalks on the edges of quaint shops for evening strolls. no sidewalks, period, in our neighborhood (if one street even qualifies as a neighborhood). there is no pretty riverfront with benches for sitting and looking out across the water and thinking absolutely nothing. anywhere that allows me to think about nothing, if only for a minute or two, is a tiny piece of magnificence. i didn't care much for the mississippi river when i could drive ten minutes to her shore. what's a river you can't jump into, i always said. now that she's gone, i know her worth.
someone asked me if my son would have fit into my life in memphis. perfectly, yes. if only it were that simple. it's not, and—although my words would make it seem otherwise— i don't want for us to be there. i only look backward because the future is still foggy and the present is ... what it is. my son, he's flourishing. like a field carpeted in wildflowers. he's beautiful and bright. gloriously bright. i want to be bright again, too. i want us to build, with our hands and minds, a new life. it could have bits and pieces of the old. i want friends for my son to know. i want walks in grassy parks and joker to sleep on a pillow in the corner of the living room. i want us to skip rocks across a body of water. all we have here is the west fork river, and it sure doesn't make me want to sit on its shore and think of blissful nothing.
i think a lot about what isn't. i shouldn't, i know. i used to be such a daydreamer. all my life. i remember doing it even as a kid in grade school. nowadays, my daydreams are damp and deteriorating. i know they'll come back one day. like me. like the sun.